Fort Worth, Texas, April 8, 2014 – – The aviation attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have filed a Petition in Intervention alleging wrongful death in the 141st Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Texas, on behalf of the family of pilot, Mark Montgomery, 47, who was killed in a medical helicopter crash in 2013.
Mark Montgomery was killed when the Eurocopter medical helicopter he was piloting lost power, crashed, and caught fire in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City retirement home. Montgomery’s wife, Anke, along with his two daughters, Courtney and Brandi, claims in the lawsuit that the crash was caused by negligence and defective design on the part of Airbus Helicopters, Inc., (formerly American Eurocopter Corporation), Honeywell International, Inc. and Soloy, L.L.C. The cause number is 141-267462-13.
The Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter was owned and operated by EagleMed, a Wichita-based air medical transport service.
According to the complaint, the crash helicopter was manufactured and sold by American Eurocopter Corporation of Grand Prairie, Texas. The helicopter’s engine was designed, manufactured and sold by Honeywell International, Inc. of Morristown, New Jersey. Both Honeywell and Soloy, L.L.C. of Olympia, Washington made modifications to the crash helicopter in order to integrate the Honeywell engine.
On February 22, 2013, pilot Mark Montgomery, flight nurse Chris Denning, and flight paramedic Billy Wynne were repositioning the aircraft in order to transfer a cardiac patient from the Watonga Municipal Hospital to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. At around 5:42 a.m., the Eurocopter AS350 B2 lost power in flight, plummeted from the sky, and immediately caught fire upon impact in the parking lot of St. Ann’s Retirement Home. Montgomery and Denning were killed. Wynne sustained critical injuries.
A witness reported seeing a flash before the helicopter entered a rapid descent. After briefly losing sight of the helicopter behind some buildings, the witness drove toward an area filled with smoke and found that the helicopter was completely engulfed in flames. The witness, along with several employees at St. Ann’s attempted to pull the victims out of the wreckage. Another witness stated to the media that Montgomery was a hero for putting the helicopter down in the parking lot, away from other people that could have been injured on the ground.
The Montgomery family alleges that defendants were negligent in the integration of the Honeywell LTS-101 engine into the accident helicopter. Honeywell and Soloy are responsible for providing helicopter pilots, owners, operators, and maintenance personnel with adequate instructions related to the operation of the engine conversion. Honeywell and Soloy, according to the complaint, negligently performed this task and published inaccurate and/or inadequate airworthiness directives, service bulletins, service letters, and other maintenance instructions.
“The courageous men and women who dedicate their lives to transporting critically sick and injured patients by helicopter deserve the safest and most reliable aircraft available,” says attorney Timothy A. Loranger. “When corners are cut and safety standards are ignored, justice requires that helicopter manufacturers and aftermarket companies pay compensation to the innocent victims of their negligence.”
Mark Montgomery retired from the U.S. Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 after 23 years of service. Montgomery was a Master Army Aviator with more than 4,700 safe flight hours. During his military service, Montgomery received numerous accolades and awards, including the Meritorious Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Ribbon, Good Conduct Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Ribbon, and National Defense Service Ribbon, among others. One of his most notable accomplishments, the Clarence R. Clarkson Aviation Safety Medal, was awarded to him three times for his skill as a pilot. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
About Baum Hedlund
Over the last 40 years, Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has represented over 600 victims of aviation accidents, including helicopter cases involving Aerospatiale, Bell Helicopter Textron, Eurocopter, Hughes Helicopters, McDonnell Douglas, Messerschmitt-Bolkow Blohm, Robinson Helicopters, and Sikorsky.
Baum Hedlund is working in cooperation with Slack & Davis of Dallas, Texas, as they represent the family of Chris Denning, who also died in the crash. Slack & Davis are serving as local counsel in this case for Baum Hedlund.